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Redesigned (New) Naturalization Test

In the interest of creating a more standardized, fair, and meaningful naturalization process, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently completed a multi-year redesign of the naturalization test. The revised test, with an emphasis on the fundamental concepts of American democracy and the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, will help encourage citizenship applicants to learn and identify with the basic values we all share as Americans.

Redesign Process
The major aim of the redesign process is to ensure that naturalization applicants have uniform, consistent testing experiences nationwide, and that the civics test can effectively assess whether applicants have a meaningful understanding of U.S. government and history. Following a basic U.S. history and civics curriculum, the redesigned test will serve as an important instrument to encourage civic learning and patriotism among prospective citizens.

To accomplish these goals, USCIS initially piloted a new test–with an overhauled English reading and writing section, as well as new history and government questions–in ten sites across the country. The feedback from this pilot was then used to finalize testing procedures, English reading and writing prompts, and a list of 100 new history and government questions. To ensure the pilot accounted for a representative sample of candidates with a variety of education levels, the test was also piloted at adult education sites nationwide. 

The resulting redesigned test was publicly introduced on September 27, 2007. Naturalization applicants will begin taking the revised test on October 1, 2008.

Which Test Do I Take?

USCIS will begin administering the redesigned (new) naturalization test on October 1, 2008. Use the chart below to determine if you will take the current or redesigned (new) test.

Date Form N-400 Filed*

Date of Initial Exam

Test to be Taken

If Applicant Fails Initial Exam, Re-test to be Taken

Before October 1, 2008

Before October 1, 2008

Current Test

Current Test

Before October 1, 2008

On or After October 1, 2008 up until October 1, 2009

Applicant's Choice of -Current Test or -Redesigned (New) Test

The same version of the test as the one taken during the initial examination

On or After October 1, 2008

On or After October 1, 2008

Redesigned (New) Test

Redesigned (New) Test

At Any Time (i.e. Before, On or After October 1, 2008)

On or After October 1, 2009

Redesigned (New) Test

Redesigned (New) Test

*The Application for Naturalization, Form N-400, is properly filed with USCIS on the date it is received by the appropriate USCIS Office with signature, correct fee, and the form is completed according to instructions.

Last updated: 08/29/2008